"In The Fullness of Times"
As we've already discussed, the Kingdom Reign of Christ, called the Millennium, immediately follows the 7-year Tribulation period. The
will commence with a clear indication of our Lord's reign as "King of kings," having His rod of authority. He will purge out those who rebelled and opposed Him, those refusing to believe the preaching of the 144,000 and the "two witnesses" in the face of the terrible Tribulation judgments. Millennial Kingdom
In a 75 day lapse between the Battle of Armageddon ending the Tribulation and Christ's Millennial reign (see Part 22), Christ will separate the wheat believers of
from the unbelieving tares, imposters, who will be "burned" (Matt 13:30). He will also separate the sheep believers from the unbelievers of the Gentiles from the unbelieving goats of the Gentiles ("nations in KJV means "Gentiles"); they will go to "everlasting fire." All believers will enter "the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world." Man is always a failure apart from regeneration and union with the Lord and His indwelling "Spirit of life" given freely to ALL believers. Thus, no unbelievers will survive the Tribulation or the Millennium (Rev 20:9) to enter the eternal kingdom on the New Earth. Israel
Some things revealed to John (below) are more foretelling of the dire time to come just before the glorious "
" on earth that is ushered in. Some elements of the eternal kingdom are seen by these verses below. First note that "time" will be no more (v1) in "the eternal." Kingdomof God
"1And I (John) saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: 2 And he had in his hand a LITTLE BOOK OPEN: 5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that THERE SHOULD BE TIME NO LONGER: 7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, THE MYSTERY (musterion, secret plan) OF GOD SHOULD BE FINISHED, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. 8 And the voice which I (John) heard from heaven spake unto me (John) again, and said, Go and take the little book 9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the LITTLE BOOK. And he said unto me, TAKE IT, AND EAT IT UP; AND IT SHALL MAKE THY BELLY BITTER, BUT IT SHALL BE IN THY MOUTH SWEET AS HONEY. 10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. 11 And he said unto me, THOU MUST PROPHESY AGAIN BEFORE MANY PEOPLES, AND NATIONS, AND TONGUES, AND KINGS." (Revelation 10:1-2, 5-11)
The "little book" (v) given by the angel to John, the writer of the Book of Revelation, contains the "bitter" of eternal judgment for the unbelieving, and also the "sweet" of eternal blessing upon the believers (v9). John was given to write of the both the bitter and the sweet as we come to the close of all ages. The "sweet" of faith in Christ's cross is the only way of salvation for men of all the ages.
In Revelation "the Lamb slain" occupies the center of the glory of the universe. No believer from any age will ever boast of his own righteousness "in that day." All, both saved and unsaved, will ultimately acknowledge their unworthiness; the believers will proclaim Him who died that they might live and be justified before God.
The "mighty angel" (Rev 10:1) holds a "little Book open" (v2), indicating that the information contained therein is from God and that the Apostle John was given access to the book. "Surely the LORD GOD will do nothing, but (except) He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). Both the "sea, and... earth" (10:2) are under his feet, indicating that the angel has been given dominion over the entire Earth. The same idea of dominion is portrayed by Psalm 110. "The LORD (the Father) said unto my LORD (Jesus), Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies (brought low as) Thy footstool" (Psalm 110:1).
The "bitter" of the prophesy contained in the Book of Revelation that John records will be evident by its many judgments. Our Lord will put the rebellion down and "break" the nations (Gentiles) "with a rod of iron" and "dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (Psa 2:9). Christ will have to "rule them with a rod of iron" (Rev 2:27) since there will still be a large number of unsaved unregenerate men born on earth to the end the Millennium. Then "Satan shall be loosed out of his prison" to stir up rebellion amongst them and against the Lord's
again. It's not strange that we read of Gog and Magog once again in the FINAL rebellion on earth. Israel
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city (
): and FIRE CAME DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN, AND DEVOURED THEM." (Rev 20:7-9) Jerusalem
This final rebellion is followed by "the Devil" being "Cast Into THE
." LAKEOF FIRE
"And THE DEVIL that deceived them WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:10)
ALL THE DEAD LOST, as UNBELIEVERS, will be resurrected from the dead to stand before the Great White Throne in Judgment (v12 below). They will be judged out of the "books," and if their name is not found in the "book of life" they too are "Cast Into The
." LakeOf Fire
"10And THE DEVIL THAT DECEIVED THEM WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are (already), and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 And (afterward) I saw a GREAT WHITE THRONE, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I SAW THE DEAD (unbelievers), SMALL AND GREAT, STAND BEFORE GOD; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is THE BOOK OF LIFE: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell (Heb., Sheol = Greek, Hades) were cast into the lake of fire.
THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH. 15 And WHOSOEVER WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE WAS CAST INTO THE
." (Rev. 20:10-15) LAKEOF FIRE
All the unsaved will bow their knees and acknowledge Jesus as Lord in that day of the Great White Throne Judgment. Because Jesus Christ humbled Himself and submitted Himself "even the death of the cross God also hath highly exalted Him (Jesus), and given Him a name which is above every name:
"That At THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, OF THINGS IN HEAVEN (the fallen angels), AND THINGS IN EARTH (mankind), And Things UNDER THE EARTH (those in "Sheol" (Hebrew), or "hell" (Greek) awaiting judgment);
"And That EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER" (Phil.2:8-11).
With the conclusion of the Battle of Armageddon, Christ will "appear" (v2 below) to those who had "pierced" Him (Zech12:10), and soon then establish His Kingdom on earth. He will rule and reign with and through the agency of believing
on earth. All the Messianic Kingdom believers, including those of Israel , must receive Jesus Christ as Savior to be purified, cleansed of their sin. Israel
"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the DAY OF HIS COMING? and who shall stand when HE APPEARETH? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and HE SHALL PURIFY the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4 Then shall the offering of
Judahand be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob ( Jerusalem ) are NOT consumed. (Malachi 3:1-6) Israel
More than 1,000 years before the Lord's 2nd coming He will have already Raptured the members of "the body of Christ." Christ will have already presented each member of His body to the Father, being clothed in His righteousness, thus making them "Holy and Unblameable and Unreproveable In His Sight" (
1:22 below). Col
"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 FAR ABOVE ALL PRINCIPALITY, AND POWER, AND MIGHT, AND DOMINION, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also IN THAT (world) WHICH IS TO COME: 22 And hath put all things under his feet (of His body), and gave him to be THE HEAD over all things to the church, 23 Which is his BODY, THE FULNESS OF HIM that filleth all in all. (Eph 1:20-23)
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: . 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, TO PRESENT YOU HOLY AND UNBLAMEABLE AND UNREPROVEABLE IN HIS SIGHT: (Col 1:12-13, 21-22)
"GOD HATH NOT Appointed Us To Wrath, but to (yet) obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ," (1 Thes 5:9)
"To the end he (Christ) may stablish your hearts UNBLAMEABLE In Holiness Before God, Even Our Father, AT THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WITH ALL HIS SAINTS (believers). (1 Thes 3:13)
Thus, the conclusion of the ages will bring in not only "the new (renewed) heavens" occupied by "the body of Christ," but also "the new (renewed) earth" in which
is reconciled to and reigning with Christ for eternity. Thus, at that time ALL believers of all ages will then have been gathered unto Christ. Thus, Christ will reign both in heaven and on earth forever and ever. Israel
Riverof Life" and the "Tree of Life" of Revelation 22 which were prefigured in the beginning of Genesis, have their full measure in the the New Jerusalem at the consummation of the ages in the eternal kingdom on earth, as recorded in The Book of Revelations. Holy City
"he shewed me A PURE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and HIS SERVANTS SHALL SERVE HIM: 4 And THEY SHALL SEE HIS FACE; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be NO NIGHT THERE; AND THEY NEED NO CANDLE, neither light of the sun; for THE LORD GOD GIVETH THEM LIGHT: and THEY SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER." (Rev 22:1-5, cf. 20:6)
The enthroned "twelve Apostles" of
Israeland the martyrs of the Tribulation come to reign in the Millennium and eternal kingdoms, while all serves God on the New Earth.) Israel
"THE FULLNESS OF TIMES" will fulfill that which began "in the beginning" when God first "created the heaven and the earth" (Gen 1:1).
"That In The Dispensation of The Fulness Of Times He Might Gather Together In One All Things In Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on Earth; even In Him" (Ephesians 1:10)
"Then Cometh THE END, when he (Christ) shall have (past tense) delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all (rebellious earthly) rule and all authority and power. 25 For he (Christ) must reign, till he hath put all enemies (in heaven and on the earth) under his feet.
26 The LAST ENEMY THAT SHALL BE DESTROYED IS DEATH.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son (Jesus Christ) also himself be subject unto him (the Father) that put all things under him, THAT GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL. (1 Cor 15:24-28)
"For it pleased the Father that IN HIM (Christ) SHOULD ALL FULNESS DWELL; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him (Christ), I say, whether they be THINGS IN EARTH, OR THINGS IN HEAVEN. (Colossians 1:19-20)
"Having made known unto us THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL, according to his good pleasure which HE HATH PURPOSED IN HIMSELF: 10 That IN THE DISPENSATION of THE FULNESS OF TIMES HE MIGHT GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE (the universe wide "kingdom of God") ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, BOTH WHICH ARE IN HEAVEN, And Which Are ON EARTH; even in him: (Ephesians 1:9-10)
"IN THE BEGINNING God created THE HEAVEN and THE EARTH." (Genesis 1:1)
"And I saw a NEW (Gk. kainos, renewed, refreshed) HEAVEN AND A NEW (Gk. kainos, new, refreshed) EARTH: FOR THE FIRST HEAVEN and THE FIRST EARTH WERE PASSED AWAY; and there was No More Sea." (Revelation 21:1).
"No more sea" (Rev 21:1)? I believe Scripture explains this, referring to the vast oceans on Planet Earth. At the time of the Great Flood the mountains were raised up and the valleys lowered to form the ocean beds that contained the flood waters. When the Earth is restored at the time of the 2nd Coming this will be reversed. The Book of Revelation talks about the islands and mountains disappearing (Rev. 16:20). I think the water from the oceans will be taken back up into the atmosphere to restore the water vapor canopy that protected Earth from harmful rays in the days before the flood (Genesis 1:6-8) and permitted the long life spans recorded in the Book of Genesis. This canopy formed the flood when it fell to earth as rain (Genesis 7:11).
In the end "The Kingdoms Of This World Are Become The Kingdoms Of Our Lord, And Of His Christ; and He Shall Reign FOR EVER AND EVER. (Rev. 11:15b)
will co-rule with Christ on earth, while the rewards of a place of service in the heavenly government are given to the members of "the church, which is His body" who "suffered (endured) in life with Him" (2Tim 2:12). These faithful Rapture believers will be rewarded according to "how they built upon the foundation" of Christ as their new all-sufficient life supply they will "reign with Him" in heaven. These are those who "learned Christ" (Eph 4:20), they've learned to endure this life by trusting Him in the face of suffering. I believe the reward for them includes positions and assignments in the Lord's heavenly government where they shall co-rule with Christ in the heavens, judging the non-believers and fallen angels during the Tribulation. Israel
"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know Ye Not That We Shall Judge Angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (1 Corinthians 6:2-3 (KJV)
Christ authority and blessing will then be fully manifested.
- The faithful of
reigning on earth. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation (20:6, cf., Rev 5:10). Israel
- Seated in the heavenly realm, the faithful of the body of Christ will reign in the heavens. "If we suffer, We Shall Also Reign With Him... (2 Timothy 2:12).
"that ye may know . 19...the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far Above All Principality, And Power, And Might, And Dominion, And Every Name That Is Named, Not Only In This World, But Also In That Which Is To Come:
22 And hath put All Things Under His Feet (of His body), and gave him to be the head over all things to 'The Church, 23 Which Is His Body,' The Fulness Of Him That Filleth All In All. (Ephesians 1:18-23 (KJV)
Being "His body" we are His feet that carry Him wherever we go. We are to bear His life, power, and authority for eternity in the heavenly realm;
"Far Above All Principality, and Power, And Might, and Dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come."